The BA (International Hons) in English will provide you with the opportunity to explore a range of historical periods and critical appraches to literature. Through this course, you will develop your writing skills, sensitivity to language, awareness of the aesthetic and intellectual enjoyments of literature, and understanding of the cultural values reflected in literature. You can also choose to take creative writing classes.
The BA (International Hons) is a joint degree delivered by both the University of St Andrews and the College of William & Mary in Virginia, USA. This joint degree allows you to spend two years at each institution.
More information for 2020 entry will be available in September 2019. For information on the current year of entry for this course see the 2019 page.
Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
How to apply
You can only apply for the programme through one institution, and each institution will honour the admissions decisions of the other. You must specify which subject area you wish to apply for on your application form.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 8.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
No previous knowledge of this subject is required.
Faculty entry requirements
You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.
SQA National 5 (B) or equivalent in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (B or 5) in English, English Language or English Literature, and one GCSE (B or 5) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of English at the University of St Andrews enjoys an international reputation as a centre for both academic research and literary creativity.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2018 as 94% of St Andrews final year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold Award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of English may be interested in joining the following student society:
Inklight is a creative writing society which runs poetry slams, open mic nights, workshops and an annual journal of student writing.
The School of English is situated in Castle House, a beautiful Victorian building situated directly in front of the St Andrews Castle ruins on the coast. English students will usually attend lectures, seminars and tutorials here.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
"When I first arrived in St Andrews, the thought of attending university in a different country seemed terrifying. Within a few days, I became part of a close-knit community fostered by the University. St Andrews inspired me to expand my interests and to take advantage of the many opportunities the University has to offer. In my time at St Andrews, I competed with the Women’s Squash Team, worked as the BA (International Honours) intern, collaborated with the WaMStA Student Partnership and organised a dinner group in my hall."
Julia (New Jersey, USA)
Admissions University of St Andrews St Katharine's West The Scores St Andrews KY16 9AX
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).